Saudi Arabia-based stc struck a deal worth €1.2 billion to acquire a portfolio of 4,800 towers from United Group, marking its infrastructure unit Tawal’s entrance into the European market.

The operator stated it will make the acquisition through Tawal, expanding the unit’s current portfolio of more than 16,000 towers spread across Saudi Arabia, into three European markets: Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.

Payment for the assets will be made in cash, on a debt free basis, and it will look to maintain current relationships with operators in the countries upon completion.

As part of a 20-year master services agreement with United Group, Tawal stated it has also committed to deploy more than 2,000 additional shareable sites.

The United Group deal is subject to regulatory approval in Bulgaria and Slovenia, and Tawal’s operations in the continent will be branded as Tawal Europe, serving as a platform for further expansion.

Olayan Alwetaid, CEO of stc, added the deal with United Group marked a significant milestone in expanding its international footprint.

The operator’s move into the European tower market adds to a flurry of activity in recent times, with Vodafone Group and Deutsche Telekom striking deals to sell stakes in their units to investment companies.